Council’s court move aimed at expediting traffic-ticket appeals

A mostly housekeeping measure concerning Grand Junction’s municipal court is expected to improve efficiency with appeals of traffic and parking violations.

The Grand Junction City Council on Wednesday night unanimously approved making its municipal court a court of record for traffic and parking infractions. While the city’s municipal court is considered a court of record for criminal complaints, traffic and parking matters were not previously entered into the official record.

Because of that, appeals in traffic and parking cases had to be completely retried, Grand Junction City Attorney John Shaver explained during the meeting.

Shaver told councilors he couldn’t quantify the number of appeals in a given year, but he said having the traffic and parking violations cases on the record should ultimately result in savings for the city.

Defendants of traffic and parking violations at the municipal level must allege their case was tried in error to further the appeal process.

“The penalties won’t change, but the appeal process will change,” Shaver said.

In the same ordinance, councilors approved combining the city’s traffic code with the Grand Junction Municipal Code, which now can be viewed in its entirety in one location on the city’s website at gjcity.org. The information previously was available only in a limited number of paper copies.

In other news:

■ Councilors unanimously passed a resolution in support of the District 51 Board of Education’s ballot measures 3A and 3B. The questions ask voters to increase funds through a bond issue and mill levy override to replace Orchard Mesa Middle School, provide essential school maintenance and provide technology upgrades, among other improvements.

If the measures pass voter approval, District 51 would receive $6.5 million a year for 10 years in property tax revenue and take out bonds of $118.5 million to make capital upgrades.


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